Benefits of the RN to BSN Program at University of New Mexico

The University of New Mexico College of Nursing commitment to excellence is expressed in the mission statement: “The mission of the CON is to provide exemplary and innovative education, research, practice, service, and leadership that improves state, national, and global health. The College’s efforts focus on the scholarship of nursing education, research, practice, and policy to inform and lead in the delivery and analysis of nursing and health care.”

Accreditation at UNM

UNM College of Nursing is CCNE accredited

When you search for an RN to BSN program, one of your first considerations should be accreditation. UNM’s College of Nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, “CCNE ensures the quality and integrity of baccalaureate, graduate, and residency programs in nursing.” The quality of education guaranteed by accreditation improves public health as well as patient outcomes and satisfaction.

When you take classes at an accredited university, you have the option of transferring credits to another institution if needed. Nurses with a degree from an accredited program may also benefit from greater job opportunities because many healthcare employers specifically recruit graduates from accredited schools.

Schools earn accreditation by meeting five major criteria: mission, integrity, quality education, student support and self-evaluation, and sufficient resources to accomplish its mission. The University of New Mexico is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, an independent corporation that accredits degree-granting post-secondary educational institutions in 19 states.

Online Nursing Program at UNM

Many working ADN- or diploma-prepared nurses want to earn a bachelor’s degree but worry that they will not have the time. They must consider their work schedules as well as personal obligations and other commitments. An online program, however, can alleviate most of those concerns. Students taking online classes can complete coursework anywhere with an internet connection — at any time. There is no need to commute to class on a specific schedule or adjust work schedules. With eight-week courses, the program allows nursing students to earn the degree at an accelerated pace.

Student Outcomes

Working RNs with an ADN may wonder what they can gain from a BSN. Here are a few topics most ADN programs do not cover:

  • The importance of life-long learning.
  • Evidence-based practice.
  • Culturally appropriate care.
  • Interdisciplinary teamwork.
  • Leadership.
  • Critical thinking.
  • Healthcare technology.

BSN-prepared nurses are in high demand because many hospitals are seeking Magnet designation, which calls for nurses with BSNs. Healthcare facilities know that these nurses offer evidence-based, culturally aware care that improves outcomes and patient satisfaction, which is becoming more important as reimbursements increasingly depend on patient evaluations. Since patients are responsible for higher deductibles, they are more likely to choose facilities where they, or people they know, have had good experiences.

RN to BSN Courses at UNM

UNM offers a wide variety of courses to help nursing students achieve their goals.

Professional Communication

This course focuses on written communication using the APA style for academic and business writing.

Advancement of Professional Nursing

Nurses who take this course will study professional development and the value that nurses bring to healthcare. It also explores professional identity, diversity and intellectual skills and strategies.

Research and Evidence-Based Practice

This course shows nurses how to identify clinical questions and appraise research results. Nurses then learn how to apply what they have learned to patient care.

Genetic Literacy Across the Lifespan

Not only does this class cover genetics and how it relates to diagnosis and treatment, it also addresses the ethical and legal questions that may accompany new developments in treatment.

Nursing in the Community

This course focuses on the overall health and wellness of the public. Students learn how to promote health, reduce risk and manage disease in the communities they serve.

Care of Vulnerable Populations

Students will learn about segments of the population who may be at higher health risks than others as well as how to treat and manage those health problems.

Leadership and Management

This class examines various management and leadership roles within health systems and how those positions affect patient outcomes.

Health Policy, Economics, and Systems

In this course, students learn how economics affects health policy and healthcare facilities. This class also examines how these issues affect local, national and global populations.

Foundations of Leading Change and Advancing Health

Also referred to as “clinicals,” this capstone course showcases what students have learned throughout the RN to BSN program. Nurses apply what they have learned in a clinical setting to gain practical experience prior to graduation.

UNM Faculty

UNM's online RN to BSN program has highly qualified instructors

With multiple PhDs, DNPs and experienced nurses on staff, UNM instructors have the knowledge and experience students need to succeed in their careers.

Jacqueline Wuellner, program director, shares her thoughts on nursing education: “I started teaching to be able to share my enthusiasm for nursing. I want students to realize that the opportunities within the profession are limitless if one is willing to advance their knowledge and seek out further education.” She is the recipient of the Golden PAW — UNM’s award for excellence in online education.

Debra Smith, principal lecturer and published author, explains the value of a BSN: “It has been shown repeatedly that nurses with a bachelor’s degree improve patient outcomes. In addition, it opens up so many career opportunities.”

Careers for BSN-Prepared Nurses

According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, “The U.S. is projected to experience a shortage of Registered Nurses (RNs) that is expected to intensify as Baby Boomers age and the need for health care grows.” Because of the current and projected shortages, the demand for qualified RNs will continue to rise.

With a median annual salary of approximately $68,450 — well above the national average — nurses can be confident that the time they spend in school will be worth it. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, nursing jobs will increase by 16 percent through 2024, which is much higher than the average growth rate.

Nurses with bachelor’s degrees enjoy a number of different employment opportunities. The following are a few examples:

  • Ambulatory care nurse.
  • Burn care nurse.
  • Cardiac care nurse.
  • Clinical nurse leader.
  • Flight nurse.
  • Forensic nurse.
  • Labor and delivery nurse.
  • Pediatric nurse.
  • Travel nurse.

When you consider all that UNM has to offer and how many opportunities are available to BSN-prepared nurses, the next logical step in your education — and career — is easy to see.

Learn more about the UNM online RN to BSN program.



About the University of New Mexico. (n.d.).

CCNE Accreditation. (n.d.).

4 Benefits of Attending an Accredited Nursing School. (n.d.).

The Criteria for Accreditation and Core Components. (n.d.).

Nursing Shortage Fact Sheet. (n.d.).

Registered Nurses: Summary. (n.d.).

Explore Specialties. (n.d.).

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